UNITED KINGDOM – The John Lewis Christmas advert looks to be glamorizing dog neglect. The scene in question has been cut from some versions of the advertisement, but the full ad will continue to run for several more weeks. Is this commercial sending the wrong message? Tell us what you think. – Global Animal
John Lewis is to continue showing its TV Christmas advert despite complaints it “glamorises” dog neglect.
The advert shows a boy hanging up a stocking on an outdoor kennel but then leaving his dog in the wind and snow.
Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today, said she was “horrified” by the advert, while 1,400 people have joined a Facebook campaign against it.
John Lewis said it had cut the scene from a shorter edit of the advert but not the longer version.
It said a 60-second version with the dog scene still in would continue to run until the end of this weekend and then on “a few other occasions” up until 18 December.
A spokesman added: “There are two new 30-second versions of the commercial which air from tonight and these do not contain the dog scene.”
The firm said the breed of dog used – a deerhound – was used to being outdoors and had not been harmed during the making of the advert.
It apologised for any distress it had caused, however.
Ms Cuddy said: “We are horrified by this. It glamorises neglect.
“We have already had people tell us they can’t visit their father for Christmas because he thinks it is alright to leave the dog outside in the shed, because it’s alright for John Lewis.”
The Stop the John Lewis Christmas Advert petition on Facebook was set up on Sunday by Julie Hill, who lives near Church Stretton, Shropshire.
Ms Hill, who produces a podcast for dog lovers called DogCast Radio, said: “We do not have a problem with the treatment of the dog during the filming. We understand it was not real, but we are concerned it sends outs a dangerous message.
“It may be OK for some special breeds of dogs to be left outside in cold conditions but for most others it would be very dangerous.
“The kennel shown is inadequate shelter, there’s no door, there is a small blanket which would be wet from the snow and then the boy walks away and waves, which shows the dog is not coming inside with him.
“Most dogs left in those conditions would suffer.”
Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, said it was “disappointed at the depiction of a dog kept alone in inadequate outside accommodation in harsh weather conditions, as part of a ‘feel-good’ Christmas campaign”.